Bridgestone strives to take care of the earth’s natural resources by exploring ways to reduce consumption and increase reuse and recycling. We are working to ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations by considering the entire lifecycle of each product and service.
Bridgestone is always looking to identify new ways to reduce our impact on the environment and develop more sustainable sources for the products we make. Natural rubber is the tire industry’s most vital natural resource. Currently, more than 90 percent of the world’s natural rubber comes from a single source - the Hevea rubber trees in Southeast Asia. Bridgestone is investing in sustainable innovation that seeks to diversify the world’s natural rubber supply and ultimately develop a natural rubber industry in North America.
Biorubber Process Research Center
At the Biorubber Process Research Center (BPRC) in Mesa, Arizona, Bridgestone is extracting natural rubber from guayule, a desert shrub native to Mexico and the Southwestern U.S., to develop for use in various commercial tire applications.
Agro Operations Guayule Research Farm
Bridgestone supplies the BPRC with guayule grown on our 281-acre Agro Operations Guayule Research Farm in Eloy, Arizona. Our agronomists are cultivating and domesticating guayule, and in early 2015, we produced our first guayule natural rubber samples for testing in commercial tire applications.
Continuous improvement is the philosophy we use to ensure that we’re always looking for ways to make our tires perform better. We innovate by using environmentally conscious materials, such as plant-based oil, to deliver sustainable performance and improved rolling resistance. Our efforts result in increased fuel efficiency and reduced vehicle emissions.
Many Bridgestone products have an Eco-Products designation, which means these tires feature environmentally-conscious materials, such as low-aromatic oil and recycled materials.
Reducing Our Footprint Through Retreading
Our Bandag business manufactures retreaded tires for the commercial truck and bus tire industry. Retreading prolongs a tire’s lifespan and helps reduce the number of scrap tires per year. In 50 years of operation, the Bandag retreading process has saved four billion gallons of oil.
Zero waste to landfill is the highest claim validation UL® gives for landfill waste diversion, and three of our manufacturing facilities have already achieved it. Bridgestone tire manufacturing facilities in Aiken, S.C., Wilson, N.C., and LaVergne, Tennessee have achieved Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL®) claim validation for zero waste to landfill. Bridgestone Americas has a goal of reaching zero waste to landfill across all of its facilities.
All Bridgestone company-owned retail stores recycle 100 percent of the spent tires they remove from vehicles. Last year, Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, and Wheelworks locations nationwide recovered more than 10 million tires, saving these tires from landfills by ensuring they are put to good use as something valuable. We put these scrap tires to use as material in rubberized asphalt, in construction materials, and as tire-derived fuel for valuable energy. In addition, all company-owned stores accept and recycle used oil and automotive batteries.
Many of Bridgestone’s facilities have been retrofitted or built to meet stringent LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental and Design) requirements.
Americas Technical Center in Akron, Ohio
The Americas Technical Center, our hub for innovation, achieved LEED® Gold certification for its achievements in energy savings, water management, and landscaping among other categories.
Tire Manufacturing Facilities
In 2014, Bridgestone’s commercial truck and bus tire manufacturing plant in Warren County, Tenn. earned LEED® recertification at the Silver level for implementing numerous sustainable measures on an already existing structure. The Bridgestone plant in Warren County joins an elite group as it is one of only three manufacturing projects in the world to achieve LEED® certification for “Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance 2009.”
Bridgestone Retail Operations
Our Firestone Complete Auto Care retail store in Smyrna, Tenn. achieved LEED® Gold certification in 2009. The company is incorporating best building practices learned from this store into all new stores.